In attempting to defend his indefensible lewd and sexually aggressive comments caught on videotape ten years ago, Donald Trump explained it was simply “locker room talk.” In Trump’s twisted and tortured mind, that made it justifiable.
This is definitely not the case in that instance. Nor, are the acerbic personal attacks and the venom that has spewed from Trump’s mouth throughout the entirety of this presidential election season justifiable.
Here’s the truth. Many of the outrageous things that Trump has said in the presidential and primary debates, at campaign rallies, and in late night or early morning tweets, could be classified as locker room talk according to his interpretation. They are utterances and pronouncements that should not be made by someone who wants to prove that he is made of the right stuff to hold the highest office in this land. Trump’s remarks might be labeled politically incorrect. But, that would be giving them short shrift.
They reveal the character of the man. Or, more appropriately, the lack of it.
Some have said that Trump tells it like it is. No! He tells it like he is.
Trumpery is not an invention. It is the language of Trump’s mind, of Trump’s heart, and of Trump’s soul.
That language comes from a dark and dismal place. It exposes Trump’s inner essence and core values. It shows only shadows and no sunshine.
Trump’s use of locker room talk as he has labeled it, or “trumpery” as we would define it, knows no boundaries. It is not restricted to commentary of a personal or political nature. It extends into statements on policy matters of all types.
In this domain, where seriousness and salience is demanded, Trump’s positions and proclamations are superficial and shallow.
They reveal the lack of competence of the man. They show an astounding level of ignorance.
They disclose that Donald Trump does not know what he does not know. And, what Donald Trump does not know in the policy arena is almost everything.
Is what Trump speaks locker room talk or trumpery? To us the answer is clear.
Calling it locker room talk demeans and takes the dignity away from all of us who have been in locker rooms. The conversations there are not always the most meaningful or artful. But, in the main, they tend to be more informed, intelligent and insightful than the poisonous pablum that Donald Trump brings to the campaign trail.
Donald Trump speaks Trumpery. To call it locker room talk is insulting to a broad swath of Americans. Let’s call it what it is and give credit or blame to the one person who deserves it – Donald Trump.
In 1775, Samuel Johnson in his groundbreaking Dictionary of the English Languagedefined “trumpery” as: 1. Something fallaciously splendid; something of less value than it seems. 2. Falsehood, empty talk. 3. Something of no value; trifles.”
What is trumpery today nearly two and one-half centuries later? It is all of the above – and much less.
Through his trumpery, Donald Trump has reduced the political discourse and the public dialogue to the lowest common denominator. By so doing, he has made locker room talk seem a thing of beauty.
That is not “no mean feat”. It is a mean feat – one that besmirches the image of this great country and its citizens.